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Performance Practices
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Course

Course

The ArtEZ Master Performance Practices is an assembly point: as a home base, it brings together performance studies, performance practices and dance studies – but also social sciences, politics, psychoanalysis, and philosophy. As the hub where they all intersect, the programme supports you in enhancing artistic practices and reflective analysis, looking beyond borders of different disciplines.

What do you learn at Performance Practices?

The Master Performance Practices offers its practitioners the space to synthesise and expand upon their fields of research through individual study and collaborative projects and workshops. As a practitioner you learn to challenge and expand the notions of performance, of how embodied actions create social meaning. Starting from your own practice as research and drawing from different disciplines, you apply and mould theory and practice through diverse means such as studio experimentation and conceptual refinement.

You gain a critical and in-depth understanding of the transformations and challenges of the body in – and of – performance. In two years, you build up an advanced portfolio and you develop skills of critical evaluation, synthesizing new ideas, curating artistic practices and managing people and resources in challenging and complex situations. A strategic mission of the Master Performance Practices is the development and expansion of the notion of ‘student as producer’ to enable you as a student to become an independent artist-researchers and at the same time to build a multivocal and fluid production powerhouse.

Resilience

In the Master Performance Practices we further resilience – meaning the capacity for adaptation to adversity – in all members of the community. In your independent artistic projects, you learn how to assess risk, manage hazards and act swiftly when conditions change. The Performance Practices programme fosters collective engagement as a way of building communities that debate and define ecological and social features of the system within which they operate and manage to design appropriate measure of action. We do this by looking closer to improvisation and collaboration, two processes that are quintessential to performance making. Improvisation is considered here in three domains: improvisation in anticipation, in attention and in response. The capacities to anticipate, stay alert and react to unforeseen events are a paramount force that enables flexible and creative solution-oriented disposition.

Photographers: Fenia Kotsopoulou, Marije van der Berg | Makers and Performers: Alexandra Tsotanidou, Lucia Kramárová, Sophia Kondylia, Daniel Voorthuis, Taru Miettinen, Fernanda Gonzáles Morales, Maria-João Falcão, Penelope Morout, Mariela Nestora, Conrad Useldinger

Five specialisations: design your own programme

Choosing your own route, you will be sharing modules and actively working together with students of the other tracks, working towards de-disciplining your field. All specialisation modules are designed and organised in consultation with our students and are newly created each academic year, making sure the programme keeps in line with the developments in the field. The curriculum is designed to allow for a thoughtful progression, integration and consistency of those skills needed for an ethically and ecologically geared artistic research within the required competencies and learning objectives that come with our status as a fully accredited master's degree. All students need to follow 75 credits of core modules and 45 credits of their specialisation modules.

Group sessions are organised in eight residential periods of three to five weeks spread throughout the two years. In between residential periods, students work autonomously on their own research projects with the support of one-to-one tutorials, online group meetings, and peer feedback. For more information about the schedule and the delivery mode, please download the pdf.

  • Year 1

    • Body in Performance
    • Designing the Body of Research
    • Bodies in Dissent
    • Studio Practice & Feedback Frameworks
    • Dramaturgical Practice & Making Public
    • Wild Bodies I

    Year 2

    • Post-Body Reflections
    • Ecologies of Performance: Curation & Facilitation
    • Dissemination and Documentation
    • Wild Bodies II

    More information?

  • The Choreography specialisation offers a vigorous partly taught, partly research driven study, which critically explores the practice of choreography. At the heart of the programme lies the unique combination of contemporary performance practice, current choreography, and cutting-edge somatic investigations where the body (human and non-human) is prioritized as the subject, tool and material of the performance event.

    The track emphasizes how the body, human and non-human, becomes embodied through choreographic practice, creates and is created by it, ultimately creating socio-political meaning and relevance. You will explore choreography’s potential to become a vessel in which modes of co-existence based on mutual care and hospitality can be rehearsed. The programme questions how to ‘move’ in the world, that is, how does individual agency, political activism and artistic acting move with and are moved by the world.

    Modules

    Students need to select 4 specialisation modules (5 credits each) and a Dissertation by Practice (25 credits) module. The Erasmus+ internship counts as two specialisation modules. 

    • Screendance and Mediated Relationships (2019-20)
    • Dramaturgy through the Lens of Poetics (2019-20)
    • Translation through somatics: a de-disciplining operation (2020-21)
    • Diffractive dialogues - the art of intra-action (2020-21)
    • Erasmus+ internship
    • Dissertation by Practice

    More information?

  • This specialisation forwards an expanded view of acting towards engaged forms of agency, telling stories and working together, challenging disciplinary ideas of theatre and interrogating how embodied actions create social meanings. You investigate the expanded notions of theatre, the interactions between humans, non-humans, amateurs and professionals, disciplined and non-disciplined. The development of an artistic practice is understood as a form of making that risks it’s undoing. For that reason, it is not refusal of disciplinary practices, as much as an embrace of multiple disciplines, and of the many ways the performative is enacted.

    Through the course modules and your own study trajectory, you will engage with notions of care and hospitality of otherness, interdisciplinary practices, ideas about the staging of the real, ecological thinking and post-humanism. Also, you will reflect critically about the gathering of theatre collectives, the agency of performers and the future of training.

    Modules

    Students need to select 4 specialisation modules (5 credits each) and a Dissertation by Practice (25 credits) module. The Erasmus+ internship counts as two specialisation modules. 

    • Environments of Expanded Acting (2019-20)
    • Dramaturgy through the Lens of Poetics (2019-20)
    • Speculative Scenarios: sensing the gaps (2020-21)
    • Socially Engaged Performance: a case study of Via Berlin Music Theatre (2020-21)
    • Technologies for Digital Performance (2020-21)
    • Erasmus+ internship
    • Dissertation by Practice

    More information?

  • The Performance Art specialisation focusses on creating bridges between post-humanist, feminist, and queer approaches around the notion of Body in Performance, and experimental explorations emerging from studio practice – as well as on integration of radical pedagogies of care, gentleness and hospitality (of otherness) and diffractive methodologies.

    The track enables and supports artists to create highly experimental work that responds to radical concepts of the body, to engender creative, and unexpected critical outcomes, to exceed preconceived boundaries through creative means, and to react to the most pressing socio-political issues of our times. The programme challenges and expands the notion of performance whilst interrogating how embodied actions create social meanings and critical manifestations of responsiveness and artistic responsibility. Following this line, during the learning process and through different modes of embodiment, you are encouraged to blur body/mind and other binary distinctions, and to transgress established societal norms through creative means.

    Modules

    Students need to select 4 specialisation modules (5 credits each) and a Dissertation by Practice (25 credits) module. The Erasmus+ internship counts as two specialisation modules. 

    • Technologies of Delivery (2019-20)
    • Intraplaces’ in everyday dialogic experiences of place. Mapping new geographies of difference (2020-21)
    • Technologies for Digital Performance (2020-21)
    • Diffractive dialogues- the art of intra-action (2020-21)
    • Erasmus+ internship
    • Dissertation by Practice

    More information?

  • This specialisation is a rigorous partly taught, partly research driven study, which challenges and expands the notion of performance and interrogates how embodied actions create social meanings.

    De-disciplined Body in Performance is about diverse thinking: both in terms of content and methods of delivery. Performance is perceived in its broad spectrum–mark identities, bend time, reshape and adorn the body. The body is understood as a stage where the scripting qualities of societal structures are rehearsed and performed in perpetuum and ad infinitum. By studying – in theory and practice – the normative disciplining of the body, performance practitioners can become aware of their own stance in relation to otherness and then take steps to maintain or change position.

    Modules

    Students of this specialisation are free to choose among any of the other specialisation and up to 4 different modules (5 credits each) and a Dissertation by Practice (25 credits) module. The Erasmus+ internship counts as two specialisation modules.

    • Environments of Expanded Acting (2019-20)
    • Technologies of Delivery (2019-20)
    • Screendance and Mediated Relationships (2019-20)
    • Dramaturgy through the Lens of Poetics (2019-20)
    • Devising Games: strategy for unconscious making (2019-20)
    • Take Fashion! (with Master Fashion Design) (2019-20)
    • Visible Sounds- Intangible Spaces (with Master Architecture & Master Music) (2019-20)
    • Frame of Reference (with Master Fashion Strategies) (2019-20)
    • Demystifying algorithms (2020-21)
    • Speculative Scenarios: sensing the gaps (2020-21)
    • Intraplaces’ in everyday dialogic experiences of place. Mapping new geographies of difference (2020-21)
    • Socially Engaged Performance: a case study of Via Berlin Music Theatre (2020-21)
    • Technologies for Digital Performance (2020-21)
    • Diffractive dialogues- the art of intra-action (2020-21)
    • Translation through somatics: a de-disciplining operation (2020-21)
    • Requiem for the (analogue) body (in public space) (with the Master Music) (2020-21)
    • A body zine: Researching the body and lived experience as a research tool (with the Master Fashion Strategies) (2020-21)
    • Erasmus+ internship
    • Dissertation by Practice

    More information?

  • This specialisation challenges and expands the notions of performance, interrogating how digital action creates and reshapes social meaning. Building on your capacity for adaptation, you learn how to evaluate and respond to rapid changes in the digital landscape, through critical engagement with ecologies both historic and contemporary. Engaging with and digesting both physical and virtual approaches to the Digital, artist-researchers are encouraged to synthesise their approaches to being the agents of disruption of their fields, rather than the product of another’s disruption, by evaluating the socio-political, aesthetic, technical, and practical consequences of their choice of deployment mode.

    The programme draws on a wide range of tools and outlooks, supporting you in synthesising your research through the questioning and deployment of digital means in relation to the Body. Practice is an equal partner to critical investigation: you are encouraged to experiment and explore, to uncover new approaches to and affordances of the tools used in you performance research, with the goal of transforming knowledge (and technique) by attending to “that-which-is-not-yet”.

    Modules

    Students need to select 4 specialisation modules (5 credits each) and a Dissertation by Practice (25 credits) module. The Erasmus+ internship counts as two specialisation modules. 

    • Technologies of Delivery (2019-20)
    • Intraplaces’ in everyday dialogic experiences of place. Mapping new geographies of difference (2020-21)
    • Technologies for Digital Performance (2020-21)
    • Demistifying algorithms (2020-21)
    • Erasmus+ internship
    • Dissertation by Practice

    More information?

DE-DISCIPLINED | performance by Henry Alles | photo by Marije van den Berg
DE-DISCIPLINED | performance by Henry Alles | photo by Marije van den Berg

Research field trips and residential periods

During the programme, you take part in international conferences and residencies. In the first year, you discover studio practice and experimentation in France. The following year, you visit the Teatro Pergola (National Theatre) in Florence to research Ecologies of Performance in Italy, together with local artists and students of the Orazio Costa Adacemy. It is also possible to take a three-month Erasmus+ internship abroad at the place of your own choice.

Internationally, the ArtEZ Master Performance Practices has Erasmus bilateral agreements with, for example, HZT Berlin (SODA), Teak Helsinki, and Academy of Dramatic Arts Zagreb.

 

Performances and assessments

Critical reflection, contextualization and practice-as-research are at the heart of all Performance Practices master’s specialisations. Performance outputs are presented in every residential period with a culmination of a performance festival towards the end of the academic year. Assessment modes may be connected to studio based work and critical reflection and examination of your own work and that of others. You will be assessed through their artefacts, formal written papers, documentation and lecture-demonstrations. Also, your ongoing progress and engagement throughout the modules will be considered.

DIGITAL | performance by Conrad Useldinger | photo by Daz Disley
DIGITAL | performance by Conrad Useldinger | photo by Daz Disley

Network of connections

During the course, you enter close dialogue with a team of experienced lecturers and inspiring guests from an international network in the performing arts. Guest artists and practitioners are invited to share their practices, providing critical insights. In addition to working independently, you work together with fellow students: to examine and develop both seminal and personal making and approaches towards facilitation, to analyse texts, and to produce performances, presentations, documentation, and essays. In critical communities you debate and define ecological and social features of the system within which you operate. By joining forces and combining resources, a level of access, mobility, and growth is realised that would not otherwise be available to each artist alone.

Being away, coming back, meeting the same people and also having the responsibility of being there – my peers being there for me, and my teachers supporting this environment and this space, somehow helped me develop my research questions.
ELENI MINOLA, master student
photo. Marije vd Berg, maker Paula Walta, perf. Beeldend Danstheater Telder
THEATRE | maker Paula Walta | performance by Beeldend Danstheater Telder | photo by Marije van den Berg